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Oracle Customer Success—The Co-op

The Co-op

The Co-op Primes for Business Transformation with Oracle HCM Cloud


With Oracle Human Capital Management Cloud, we are implementing a stable, standardized platform to help drive our business transformation. We are aiming to improve the employee experience and engagement, enabling staff to spend more time serving our customers, delivering better results for the business.

— Simon Locke, Head of IT for Enabling Functions, The Co-op

The Co-op Standardizes HR Across the Complex Group to Boost Efficiency, Reduce Costs, and Improve Employee Engagement

The Co-op (previously the Co-operative Group) is undergoing a significant transformation, focused on restoring the business, championing a better way of working, and preparing for growth. Central to the Co-op’s transformation is the organization’s 75,000 colleagues and 15,000 pensioners. In the last decade, the group grew rapidly via a number of mergers and acquisitions, leaving it with a disparate and complex set of manual processes and heavily customized HR systems.

As part of its rebuilding program, the Co-op is standardizing and centralizing its HR systems and processes. The Co-op sought a flexible, future-proof, cloud HR solution that could grow and develop the company while helping to improve employee retention and engagement.

Business Challenge
  • Implement a program to streamline and standardize the group’s HR systems with Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud, improving stability and reducing cost of change and cost of ownership
  • Replace a number of disparate, customized HR implementations with a single, standardized, cloud, HR system for the Co-op’s group of companies including retail, funeral services, insurance, and legal
  • Reduce manual processes and increase self-service, to deliver HR and talent management services across the group in a more efficient and cost-effective way
  • Improve management information and analytics to provide enhanced insight into talent requirements and improve competitiveness throughout the group
  • Established a change management program to help each business within the Co-op and achieve a smooth transition to a new way of working across all HR processes
  • Delivered a modular implementation over two years, to ease the transition for the business, enabling employees and managers to adapt to new ways of working in a controlled way
  • Took an early adopter approach with the Insurance business (around 1500 colleagues) to learn lessons before deploying to the Co-op business at scale
  • Replaced paper-based and manual HR and talent management activities with online processes for tasks such as performance reviews, improving efficiency and transparency and reducing manual errors
  • Transitioned PeopleSoft Helpdesk for Human Resources to the Oracle Cloud, to host all HR systems together, the next step is to activate the self-service channels for employees submitting a query to improve efficiency and reduce HR administration costs throughout the group
  • Reduced dependency on internal IT infrastructure and resources with a hosted cloud platform, and started to eliminate complex customizations that were costly and time-consuming to maintain


We wanted a single supplier for our HR systems and chose Oracle for its functionality, modular implementation options, interfaces with our existing Oracle E-Business Suite platform, and the commercial proposition. Only Oracle met all our IT and HR requirements.

— Ioannis Boutaris, HR Technology Manager, The Co-op


The Co-op, Oracle, and IBM Global Business Services are working in partnership to ensure a successful delivery. Oracle is heavily involved in the program, providing on-site support and ensuring rapid escalation if required.

“We have very good engagement with Oracle. A team from Oracle has been on site throughout the project and any issues are progressed quickly to a senior level, ensuring rapid resolution,” said Fiona Inglis, One HR Program Lead, The Co-op.

Next phases include implementing the core HR system including payroll across the group, and a full rollout of recruitment, talent management, and compensation programs. Once complete, the Co-op’s payroll system will be the largest cloud payroll in the UK, and one of the largest globally.

About The Co-op


Manchester, United Kingdom



Annual Revenue

US$13.5 billion

The Co-op is one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives, with interests across food, funerals, insurance, electrical, and legal services, and has a clear purpose of championing a better way of doing business for communities. Owned by millions of UK consumers, The Co-op operates a total of 3,750 outlets, with more than 70,000 employees and an annual turnover of more than £9 billion (US$13.5 billion).


The Co-op worked with Oracle Cloud Elite Partner, IBM Global Business Services as its systems integrator, to assist with business processes, system design, integration, and self-service portals.

“We had great experience with IBM in other HR projects within the group, and IBM had demonstrated experience in payroll design and simplifying processes. Additionally, it was clear that IBM understood the value of the Oracle HCM Cloud to The Co-op, and the opportunities that it could deliver.” Simon Locke, Head of IT for Enabling Functions, The Co-op

Published:  May 25, 2017